"I saw there was a niche missing in Miami nightlife for a true VIP experience in an elegant setting among a refined crowd," Ryan Van Milligen explains. He and his partners plan to open South Beach nightclub Ora later this spring. Van Milligen worked with Opium Group and clubs such as
Over the past year, Van Milligen and his crew brainstormed how to make Ora stand out. "We realized having a place that was all about service would be a unique concept for a high-energy night. You can get VIP service at hotels, restaurants, and yachts, but for some reason, nightclubs across the world overlook this." So Ora will employ a seven-person VIP team to ensure the experience is supreme. From the moment VIPs step out of their cars,
After finding their preferred location at 2000 Collins Ave., the partners hired French designer François Frossard to design the interior, which features a constantly changing kinetic ceiling. "We wanted a space that was like a five-star hotel. People with great art collections allowed us to display their art. We have works by Banksy, Murakami, and Robert Indiana. This is the first place opening in Miami in ten years that will wow people architecturally. I was there when
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Ora's setup will give the club a sort of duality. "The main room is going to have different nights catered to different clienteles, but mostly DJs will play open-format and house music. Upstairs in the lounge is a speakeasy where you will more easily be able to have a conversation, and we will be playing a mashup of classic rock with hits from today."
The team still has a fair amount of work to do before opening day — from hiring staff to finalizing a menu and finding the right DJs — but Van Milligen is optimistic that Ora will deliver a more mature nightlife experience that will resonate with Miamians. "You can't trick people anymore," he says. "The most important thing we can do is make people leave with an unforgettable memory of the night."
Ora Nightclub, 2000 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305-912-1010; oranightclub.com.